Portalis Wines
Portalis Wines

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Shop Hours:
Tuesday - Saturday: 11am to 7pm
Sunday: 11am to 5pm
Monday: closed

6754 15th Ave NW
Seattle WA 98117



Wine Varietals
The following descriptions of each wine varietal provide a very simple overview of what you can expect to find in wines containing the particular grapes.


Flavors: Red fruit, currants, blackberry
Features: Naturally high in acid; smoky/toasty notes through barrel aging
Regions of Note: Italy (Piedmont, Lombardy, Sardinia), also grown in Slovenia & California


Flavors: Raspberry, cherry, plum, strawberry, violet, bell pepper
Features: Low overall acidity; earlier ripening grape; lighter in tannins
Regions of Note: France (especially Loire Valley & St Emilion), Northeastern Italy (Friuli), Washington State and California


Flavors: Black currant, blackberry, black cherry, bell pepper, green olive, green peppercorn
Features: Medium- to full-bodied; dependable grape for aging; grape has thick and tough skin; typically tannic.
Regions of Note: Planted globally; best in Bordeaux (Medoc), California (Napa, Sonoma & Paso Robles) and Washington State (Walla Walla)


Flavors: Note: Chardonnay is so varied that flavors here are described by region
California - vanilla, butter, butterscotch, green apple; New Zealand - tropical fruit, gooseberry, passion fruit, lemon, pineapple; Chablis region of France - crisp & flinty; Mersault region of France - lush, ripe, fleshy
Features: Full-bodied, smooth texture, made richer/creamier through oak barrel fermenting
Regions of Note: Planted globally; best results in Australia, California, France, Italy, South Africa, New Zealand


Flavors: Melon, honeydew, honeysuckle, quince, grass
Features: High acid content provides balance for sweetness and aging potential; ranges from sparkling wine to moelleux (meaning 'with marrow') which is rich and sweet; most versatile of all grape varieties; nearly a third of wines in South America are Chenin Blanc; mostly used as a blending grape
Regions of Note: Native region is France (Loire Valley); also grown in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, California, Washington State


Flavors: Peach, mango, lychee, rose petal, honeysuckle
Features: Fragile grape; thick, tough skins; low acidity; heavy, oily texture
Regions of Note: France (Alsace), Germany, Washington State, California


Flavors: Plum, blackberry, cassis
Features: Dense, rustic, structured wines; major red varietal in Argentina; most of the Malbec vines were transplanted from Europe due to the outbreak of phylloxera;
Regions of Note: Argentina, France (Cahors & Bordeaux), Oregon, Washington State, California


Flavors: Currant, black cherry, plum, violets, clove, bell pepper, green olive
Features: Ripens fairly early; lower in tannins and higher in sugar than Cabernet Sauvignon; medium- to full-bodies; round, rich & fruity; most widely planted grape in Bordeaux; best quality Merlots grown in rock and clay based soils providing earthiness to the wine
Regions of Note: grown worldwide; famous in Bordeaux (St. Emilion & Pomerol), California


Flavors: Blackberry, cherry, licorice, smoke, tar, anise, truffle
Features: Medium-bodied; late-ripening, smooth, structured wines; needs maturation; grape is very sensitive to soil; Nebbiolo grapes have a special foggy look when they are ripe
Regions of Note: Italy (Piedmont), Argentina, California, Washington State, Australia


Flavors: Apple, almond, citrus, lime
Features: Pinot Blanc is a clone of Pinot Gris; high acidity, low in aromatic intensity; light- to medium-bodied
Regions of Note: France (Alsace), Italy (called Pinot Bianco), Germany & Austria (called Weissburgunder), Argentina, California


Flavors: Lemon, apple, pear, citrus, lime
Features: Depending upon ripeness, Pinot Gris can be tangy and light or quite rich and full-bodied
Regions of Note: France (Alsance), Italy (Alto Adige & Friuli called Pinot Grigio), Oregon, Germany (called Grauburgunder)


Flavors: Cherry, strawberry, raspberry, violet, rose petal, black olive, rosemary, cinnamon
Features: Low in acidity and tannins; high in alcohol; light to medium-full body
Regions of Note: France (Burgundy), Oregon, California, Germany (called Spätburgunder)


Flavors: Apple, peach, apricot, rose petal, violet, minerals, flint
Features: Range is immense; steely, dry (Kabinett) to intensely sweet (Trockenbeerenauslese); cultivated in Germany since 1400; Riesling wines are well-suited to the coldest wine growing climates; low alcohol; powerful aroma
Regions of Note: Germany, France (Alsace), Oregon, California, Washington State, Australia, New Zealand


Flavors: Strawberry, blueberry, plum, cherry, violet, cinnamon, clove, thyme
Features: Late ripening grape; has a thin skin; high natural acidity; light to medium body
Regions of Note: #1 varietal in Italy (Tuscany/Chianti), California, Washington State


Flavors: Ranging from herbaceous (grass, lemongrass, gooseberries); vegetal (bell pepper, green olive, asparagus); fruity (grapefruit, lime, citrus, lemon, melon)
Features: Wide range of dry-style (Loire Valley) to very sweet dessert-style (Sauternes) wines
Regions of Note: France, California, Washington State, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Argentina


Flavors: Fig, lemon, pear, grass, bell pepper; Botrytis-form: apricot, peach, quince, honey, pineapple
Features: Mostly used as a blending grape; thin skin; juicy pulp; subject to botrytis or "noble rot"; can age for decades
Regions of Note: Chile, France (mainly Bordeaux in Graves & Sauternes)


Flavors: Black currant, blackberry, black pepper, licorice, clove, thyme, sandalwood, cedar
Features: Dark berry with a thick skin; needs a lot of heat; Syrah forms intense, rich, spicy wines
Regions of Note: Syrah in France (primarily Cõtes du Rhõne, Cõte Rotie & Hermitage), California, Washington State; Shiraz in Australia and South Africa


Flavors: Cherry, plum, blackberry
Features: Usually aged in American oak barrels resulting in an earthy, sweet, vanilla flavor
Regions of Note: Spain (especially Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Penedes), Argentina, Oregon


Flavors: Orange blossom, apricot, mango, pineapple, tangerine, kiwi, anise, mint
Features: Much more distinctive fruit character than Chardonnay; full-bodied, often used as a blending grape; notoriously temperamental and can be difficult to unify
Regions of Note: France (Loire Valley, Northern Rhõne (Condrieu), Languedoc), California, Washington State


Flavors: Raspberry, blackberry, boysenberry, cranberry, black cherry, licorice, cinnamon, black pepper
Features: Full-bodied; highly concentrated, age worthy wines; Zinfandel is a clone of the Croatian variety Crljenak, coming to the U.S. in 1820; best when drunk within 3 to 5 years
Regions of Note: California, Washington State

Events at Portalis
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This week's 
tasting schedule:
Sep 19  Portalis Explores! Wine Club
             // Pickup Tasting: Spain
Sep 20  Portalis Wine Club // Pickup Tasting
              Hidden Treasures from Spain
Sep 21  Luck of the Draw
Sep 22  Wine Tour of Bordeaux
Sep 23  Wines from Mountainous Regions

Portalis Wine Blog
08.23.2018  Summer Sale 2018!



Portalis Wine Club
Two clubs to choose from: Portalis Explores! (budget) & Portalis Wine Club (no holds barred). Makes a wonderful gift!

Check out the monthly wine notes: Portalis Explores! | Portalis Wine Club
Gift Ideas at Portalis

Wedding Gift Ideas!

Food + Wine

Fresh Herbs & Wine

   MORE >


Featured brewer: Karlovacka (Croatia)

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